I made it to the ribbon-cutting of the brand new Target in East Liberty. Those of us who live east of the city of Pittsburgh have been watching and waiting for this brand new addition to 15206 to open.
No matter what you call it now, it will always be East Liberty to me. Years ago there was a high rise on this site and I remember when there was a variety store right in this very spot, it may have been Treasure Island or Gold Coast, it was a store very much like today’s Target. The preview was packed and I spotted a lot of East End residents, business and residential people like Michelle Ross, Tim Stevens, Malik Bankston, Riley Davis and Dr. Helen Davis.
The store is large and well laid out. There is a grocery department with fresh produce and I noticed a nice collection of Black art. You can see the merchandise is geared to the surrounding clientele. There is a Starbucks and a Pizza Hut inside of the store at the top of the escalator.
This is one of a few two story Targets in the country. When you think two stories you may be thinking merchandise on both levels. That is not the case. I see the two levels as a way to provide a large parking area and also a good security measure. No one will be running out the door with a flat screen on their shoulder. As a matter of fact there is a special escalator for large merchandise. I bought a chair that I could not lift, no problem the chair was put in a cart and it came down an escalator right beside me that was designed for carts only. I was impressed.
The food during the reception was tasty and Howie Alexander and friends were on board, making it a very jazzy opening.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and City Councilman Ricky Burgess seemed excited to have the new red jewel anchoring the East Side. The staff is very diverse. I even spotted Kevin Parker (Kevtime) wearing a Target name badge. You may remember Parker from when he lost his sight in a car accident years ago and became an outstanding runner.
I like what is happening in “Sliberty,” new restaurants, a new hotel; new places to live, even the streets are going in a new direction. If you haven’t been there lately make sure you pay attention to the new street directions. It is too bad that Borders could not make it and be a part of the brand new East Side.
It is time for me to take a walking tour of the area. I recommend that you do the same. I want to stop in the Vanilla Pastry Studio and buy a cupcake and eat a cookie. This boutique bakery moved from the West End to the East and increased their space. I have yet to dine at Burger, but I am loving the house salad at Ava, make sure you try it.
Keep walking up Penn Avenue to Bakery Square. I was there recently as well and noticed they have jazz in Bakery Square on some Sundays. Check out the website for the happenings at Bakery Square.
We are moving on up in the East Side.
(E-mail the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.)